Valentine was a young cat when he was dropped off at a Los Angeles shelter missing his claws.
Before he got to the shelter, someone managed to declaw him so badly that he was in brutal pain. His claws were so short that the employees of the shelter did not know if he would survive. “He was in so much pain, he was acting out,” Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian and founder of The Paw Project, told The Dodo. “He was biting. He was terrified.”
Valentine’s apparent aggression led him to being put on the shelter’s euthanasia list.
That’s when Aurelie Vanderhoek saw the picture and stepped in. Vanderhoek is the founder of Zoey’s Place Rescue and was the hero, making sure Valentine got the care he properly needed. “I said, ‘I don’t care how we’re going to do this.” Vanderhoek told the Dodo. “He’s coming with me.”
Despite being rescued, Valentine was still in need of a lot of help to bring his pain down to tolerable. He was brought to the Animal Healthcare Center where vets worked to lessen the pain in his festering paws. With the help of the Paw Project’s New Lease on Life program, Valentine’s escalating medical expenses were not a concern either.